DAVID RAND is an associate professor of psychology, economics, and management at Yale University, and the director of Yale University’s Human Cooperation Laboratory. His research combines a range of theoretical and experimental methods centered around game theory to explain the high levels of cooperation that typify human societies, and to uncover ways of promoting cooperation in situations where it is lacking. He asks (i) what prosocial and antisocial decisions people will make in particular situations and social environments; (ii) the cognitive mechanisms that determine how these decisions are actually made, often examining the conflict between intuition and deliberation; and (iii) the ultimate explanations for why our decision-making processes have come to function as they do, considering both evolution and learning.
Rand's work has been published in journals including Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Psychological Science, the American Economic Review, and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and has received widespread attention from a range of media outlets, including NPR, BBC, The Economist, Scientific American, Wired, New Scientist, London’s Daily Telegraph, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Discover, Financial Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has also written popular press articles for the New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, and the Psychological Observer. He was named to Wired magazine’s Smart List 2012 of "50 people who will change the world," and chosen as a 2012 PopTech Science Fellow.